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Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Oss0212
  • Sociology
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    Demonstrate a knowledge of different theories that explain the development of the self


    OER Text Material

    Theories of Self-Development, Section 5.1

    This subsection starts with psychological perspectives on self development before delving into sociological theories of self-development. Notable theories use include Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development, Gilligan’s Theory of Moral Development and Gender. Also explained in the subsection are the theories of Charles Cooley who asserted that people’s self-understanding is constructed, in part, by their perception of how others view them—a process termed “the looking glass self.” George Herbert Mead’s study of the self is covered as well as Erik Erikson’s theory of personality development. In addition, Jean Piaget’s theory on the role of social interactions in the development of people is covered. The work of Sigmund Freud about how people develop a sense of self is also covered in this subsection.

    Supplementary Material (Videos and Reading)

    George Herbert Mead- The I and the Me: Individuals and Society (Video)

    This video by the Khan Academy, casually mentions the work of Cooley and concentrates on the work of Mead. The video goes deeper into Mead’s developmental stages of preparatory stage, play stage, and the game stage. The video also explains the I and Me.

    8 Stages of Development (Video)

    This video explains Erikson's theory of psychosocial development that identifies eight stages in which a healthy individual passes through from birth to death. At each stage, the individual encounters different needs, ask new questions, and meet people who influence their behavior and learning.

    Erving Goffman's Dramaturgy by Debra Marshall (Video)

    This lecture is about Erving Goffman's theory of dramaturgy. It is about how interaction theory works. Goffman sees the world as a stage where humans are always acting to fit into the general society. It also mentions how human beings present themselves in the presence of others. People behave differently based on the expectation placed on them by other people. In short, people behave to suit the expectation of others – thus, we use impression management as a tool to make ourselves more appealing to people.

    Sigmund Freud: Id, Ego, Superego- Psychodynamic- Psychoanalytic Personality Theory Explained (Video)

    Using a diagram, the presenter explains Sigmund Freud's theory of mind- the Id, Ego, and Superego, as well as their relationship to the unconscious, preconscious, and conscious levels of the mind.

    Explain the Various Theories of the Development of Self

    This relatively short paper explains Cooley’s theory, Mead’s theory, and Freud’s theory. Cooley's concept of self-development is termed "looking-glass" concept. According to Cooley, people develop the concept of self with the help of others. People form opinions about themselves when they have been exposed to other people and know their opinions about them. Thus, people form the concept of themselves on the basis of opinions held by others. For Mead, the self develops out of the child's communicative contract with others. The newborn infant has need like those for food and clothing that press for satisfaction. The mother satisfies these needs and the child comes to depend upon her and identifies himself with her emotionally. According to the author, for Freud, self and society are not identical. Freud explained the process of socialization in terms of his concepts of "Id", "Ego", and "Super ego", which constitute the three systems of mind. The "id" is the organ of untamed passions and represents instinctive desires. The "ego" acts with reason while the "super ego" acts with ideals and norms.